Our monthly wrap-up of what’s been happening in the world.
Spend any time on Twitter recently and you’ll see the war brewing over the latest huge name to die before his time: Kobe Bryant. Leaving aside the question of whether having great hand-eye coordination should be enough to make someone a cultural hero, there are a lot of thorny issues around what makes up a legacy.
Bryant and his teenager daughter died in a tragic helicopter accident. Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old hotel employee in 2003. (Later, he said, “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”) Bryant was an inspiration to basketball fans across years and generations – people named their kids after him.
Are we supposed to not mention the bad with the good? How long after his death are we supposed to examine Kobe Bryant as a man?
For people on both sides of this social-media-driven debate, it seems black-and-white: either you can speak about his crime alongside his talent, or you never mention it ever now that he’s dead and can’t defend himself. But that leaves a lot of grey area for everyone who isn’t as invested…
What do you think?
As the Wuhan Coronavirus continues to be the hottest story on the planet, we’re being gently led into a state of panic by the news. They’re more than happy to keep us informed of how many cases there are, where potential victims are and just how paranoid we should be about its spread and/or the end of the world. And look, the World Health Organisation has declared it a global emergency, so it’s okay to freak out a little bit.
Ifyou want a useful, no-fuss graph of the whole situation, this site is your bestoption. It has all the facts’n’figures for you to study without the OTTeditorials. (Oh, and the CSIRO are already working on a vaccine.)
Closer to home, predictably, there’s a racist element to this whole story, from people on Facebook getting furious at the thought of Chinese people eating koalas to people in real life refusing to shake hands with Chinese people “just in case”. Sure, some of that’s probably a joke, but it’s not a very funny one, is it?
Dark Emu continues to weather the storm
Weather? Storm? We’ve heard enough about what’s happening inAustralia’s environment, haven’t we? But in the mainstream media battle zone, we’vehad opinion columnist Andrew Bolt continuing to self-own with obsessive attackson our man Bruce Pascoe, author of groundbreaking history book Dark Emuand volunteer fire-fighter. Bolt published chunks of a letter he allegedlyreceived from a Warramiri tribal chief, denouncing Pascoe.
Faster than your racist relatives could repost it with commentslike “the debate continues to rage”, it turned out the person who was meant to havewritten the poison pen letter, Terry Yumbulul… claims he didn’t.
This latest pie-in-Bolt’s-face followed an attempt to havePascoe charged with financially benefitting from falsely claiming to beIndigenous, which went all the way to Australian Federal Police. As in so manysituations, the only reasonable response to all this comes from Mean Girls:
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